Pasta primavera: defined as pasta and vegetables, particularly firm vegetables such as bell peppers, carrots, and tomatoes. Highlighted by light flavors, such as fresh herbs and lemon. Classic primavera sauce generally consists of garlic and olive oil, with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.
Using this knowledge of what basic pasta primavera should be, I went on a mission to capture all necessary flavors and ingredients while still making this dish very much my own. I’ve discovered that pasta primavera is tailored to each individual; depending on the season, the vegetables available, and the flavors you like, this pasta dish will never be the same twice.
The recipe below is exactly what I included in my pasta primavera last week, however, these are by no means your “boundaries.” As an example, shrimp is not typically included in pasta primavera, but Brett requested some sort of meat to make the dish more substantial. Green beans are typically included, but they looked dull and spotted at the store, so I left them out. This recipe can handle any type of protein – chicken, mussels, etc., so use whats on hand or on sale. View this recipe as an outline to re-create the dish in whatever way pleases your tastebuds.
This pasta dish is a truly fresh, healthy, bright summer meal. I love an evening in which I know that I’ve provided a meal full of nutrients yet low in fat. This dish was extra special because, the basil being such a prominent flavor, I was reminded with each bite of our wonderful friends, Aimee and Jeff, who happily allowed me to take handfuls of basil from their overgrown basil plant during a thunderstorm last weekend.
There is a story behind every dish in my kitchen. I hope that this recipe brings some sort of fun adventure to yours!
Pasta Primavera – adapted from No-Cream Pasta Primavera on Allrecipes.com
12 oz whole wheat penne pasta
1 yellow squash, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 large tomato, diced
5 to 8 spears asparagus, trimmed and chopped
1/2 lb cooked shrimp
1/4 C olive oil, divided
salt + pepper
1 lemon (for both juice and zest)
1 small shallot, minced
1 TBS italian seasoning
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 C basil, chopped
3 TBS balsamic vinegar
1/2 C grated parmesan or romano cheese
1. Preheat oven to 450. Line a cookie sheet with foil. Brush foil with olive oil or PAM.
2. Place all chopped vegetables except tomatoes on foil in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, italian seasoning, and spritz with lemon juice. Roast in the oven for 7-10 minuted, depending on type of vegetables used. The goal is for the vegetables to be tender and lightly browned, but not mushy.
3. Cook penne al dente while vegetables are roasting. Drain and place in large bowl. Toss shrimp with pasta.
4. In small skillet, saute garlic and shallot in olive oil. Add garlic, shallot, balsamic, basil, a bit of lemon zest and fresh tomato to the cooked penne pasta. Add roasted vegetables to pasta and toss well. Garnish with additional fresh tomatoes and parmesan cheese.